Book Banners Don’t Tread Lightly

Book Banners Don’t Tread Lightly

by | Jul 22, 2022 | Public Education

Back in April, when the debate on school book bans was sweeping the country, a survey of registered voters in Tennessee found that the vast majority opposed bans based on content about race, gender, or sexuality. In fact 58 percent of the Tennesseans surveyed said they “strongly opposed” such bans. There was an age divide—older voters were far more likely to support the bans than younger ones—but otherwise opposition was strong among urban, suburban, and rural voters alike.

Weeks later, Tennessee’s right-wing state lawmakers stuck their fingers in the political wind and decided to do a book ban anyway.

Of course they didn’t call it that. But that’s what this legislation allows. If a public-school student, family, or employee disagrees with their local school board’s decision on whether to ban a particular book, this law gives the final say to political appointees—the state textbook commission in Nashville.

You know, for a bunch of folks who complain constantly about “big government,” Tennessee’s Republican lawmakers sure do like to get all up in small government’s business. I wonder how many have Don’t Tread on Me license plates on their trucks?